The Ewing clan, known for their fictional scheming and backstabbing on TNT’s “Dallas,” are about to take their ruthless business practices into the real world for a one-day promotional stunt in advance of the series’ third season.
On Monday, Feb. 24 (the same day of the series premiere), the Ewing family will unveil its first “Ewing Energies” gas station, which will offer gas at deeply discounted rates for one day only, undercutting the competition and announcing their presence in a big way.
“We wanted to bring Season Three back in a big way, and we wanted to go Texas big,” Tricia Melton, senior vice president of entertainment marketing and branding for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, tells Marketing Daily. “The Ewings are one of the richest and most powerful [fictional] families in Texas. A big part of our strategy is bringing the Ewing mythology to life.”
The location of the gas station is being kept secret until the morning of the 24th, when it will be announced via an ad in The New York Times, radio promotions, billboards and an online video from John Ross Ewing (played by Josh Henderson) on Facebook. Until the date of the announcement, Melton will say only that the gas station being taken over will be in the continental United States.
Although getting fuel at the gas station will be available for a limited number of fans in its immediate area, TNT is hoping to build buzz through PR and other media coverage, Melton says. The network is also running a sweepstakes through the program’s Facebook page, offering fans the chance to win a Ewing Energy Black Gold Card with a $50 balance for gasoline. (Agency Grey NY assisted with the promotion.)
“This approach is about garnering attention through a high-profile experiential event,” Melton says. “To break through in today’s landscape, you have to capture the imagination and attention of fans and viewers.”